A healthy lifestyle doesn’t come easy. Just ask Katinka, she knows. In her monthly column she shares her latest discoveries in the search to balanced life.
Since I started training in the early morning I’ve made lots of new friends. Actually, I don’t even know their names, but I can’t imagine living without them anymore. Let me explain what happened.
The first time I decided to start early morning running was on a Sunday. It was autumn and already freezing, which I didn’t expect (stupid me!). I was wearing all the wrong clothes and could only think of my warm bed, wondering why I had left it unnecessarily early this morning. But soon after all my grumbling I found I wasn’t the only fool around. In fact, I saw lots of sporty nice people who even greeted and smiled at me. After 10 miles my mind changed miraculously and I returned home satisfied and completely motivated.
Finding discipline for my workout has always been the hardest part of training for me. When I have lots of free time and the sun is shining it isn’t that difficult. But after a long day in the office and another long chapter afterwards with two toddlers who are using the sentence “I can do it myself” too often, it’s a whole different ball game.
When I was a student, I tried to motivate myself by making appointments with friends to go to gym classes together. It helped a bit, because none of us wanted to be the loser who didn’t make it to the gym after our long nights out on the town. But after a while I started caring less about the opinion of others and struggled to get myself there again.
When I got my first real job I didn’t have much time anymore, but I could afford a personal trainer. This was actually a brilliant move from a motivational perspective, because I was not allowed to cancel the sessions less than 24 hours in advance. Of course I could have, but it would have cost me a fortune. So I always showed up to our appointments.
But being honest now: despite the support of classmates, personal trainers, and the help of my new ‘friends’, it’s me, myself, and I when it comes to discipline and motivation. It’s me thinking “What could be nicer than reading a book on the sofa this evening?” instead of me thinking “What could be nicer than taking a bike ride through the rain for a great workout?” I am my biggest opponent in this game and I’m afraid I will always be.
But recently I found a new source of inspiration and the funny thing is: it doesn’t cost a lot of energy and it really helps me. I started reading the most inspirational sports quotes in history. Take for example a quote by Vince Lombardi: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up”. Or a quote by Bobby Knight: “Your biggest opponent isn’t the other guy. It’s human nature.” Reading these quotes completely motivates me and I feel like an absolute loser if I don’t make it to my training after all the inspirational words.
So tomorrow I will train again. But despite all the inspirational quotes I must confess that I can’t wait to meet my new friend: the guy who decided to start his training even before my ridiculously early training time of 7 am. The guy who makes it easier to rise so early, knowing he is already there. It would be great to meet this hero tomorrow apart from one thing, which is… he will have almost finished his workout when I still have to get mine started at this ungodly hour.
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